Adele Wilkes

Adele Wilkes (Australia) 

Adele Wilkes is an artist, filmmaker and researcher whose practice encompasses moving image, sound, photography, projection and installation, with a focus on expanded, experimental and poetic modes of documentary and cinematic storytelling.

Adele’s work has been shown in Australia and internationally, including at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), National Gallery of Victoria, Buxton Contemporary, Channels Festival, Aphids, Composite: Moving Image Agency and Media Bank, MONA FOMA, Liquid Architecture, Museum of Brisbane, Sydney Contemporary, The Hellenic Museum, Bunjil Place, National Portrait Gallery, at various film festivals in the UK, US, Europe and the Middle East, and on ABC TV. Her photographic work was shortlisted for the 2019 Bowness Photography Prize, and the 2021 National Photographic Portrait Prize. Recently, Adele’s work has been exhibited in Melbourne Now at NGV Australia. She is a member of Women Photograph, a peer assessor for Australia Council for the Arts and a PhD candidate in the School of Art, RMIT.

The Poison garden

(15-50 mins) – durational performance

These films are part of a cumulative body of work titled ‘The Poison Garden’, centred on the relationship between a psychedelic subtropical botanic garden, the reclusive polymath couple who for many years has planted, tended and inhabited it, and the diverse knowledges, generative conversations, experimentations and elemental forces that inform, sustain, and evolve its ongoing existence.

Constructed entirely from field recordings of this carefully curated and cultivated ecosystem, the films reveal a shapeshifting, living pharmacopeia of rare, sacred and sometimes dangerously intoxicating botanical species with complex histories of cultural, spiritual and medicinal use.

Through a non-linear, mycelial structure that echoes the entangled ecology of gardens, the project interweaves ideas around ethnobotany, multispecies intelligence, altered states of consciousness, entheogens, psychonautics, animist cosmologies, alchemy, non dualism, biochemistry, neurodivergence, spiritual ecology and queer knowledge.

Resisting anthropocentrism, the films in ‘The Poison Garden’; intimately observe and illuminate intricate details of the more- than-human world through infinite cycles of growth and decay, offering a multisensorial, synaesthetic trip into other(ed) ways of knowing and being.